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Tag: VH1 (31-40 of 42)

Nelly on VH1's 'Behind the Music': The hip-hop star discusses his sister's death for the first time -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

VH1′s Emmy-nominated series Behind the Music launches its latest season on March 7 at 1o p.m. ET with an in-depth look at three-time Grammy winner and hip-hop superstar, Nelly. The 36-year-old rapper’s tale is surely a dramatic one: He ascended from the streets of St. Louis in the late 1990s to become one of the most celebrated performers of a generation, with hits that spanned from his debut single “Country Grammer” to “Just a Dream,” which went to No. 3 on Billboard’s Hot 100 last fall.

In the upcoming special, Nelly talks about the ups and downs of his decade-long music career, including his relationship with singer Ashanti, who also sat down for an interview. He also publicly addresses for the first time the death of his sister, Jackie, who died in 2005 from Leukemia at the age of 31. EW has an exclusive first look at Nelly discussing the pain he suffered over his sister’s death and how it affected him while he was on the road touring. “Nobody wanted to tell me how severe and how close things had gotten,” he says in the clip. “She wasn’t telling me the truth, and everyone around her that knew wasn’t telling me that, ‘Yo, she’s not gonna make it.’” Nelly recounts how he was the last one to speak to Jackie before she died, and how he went into a tailspin after he heard the news, splitting a door in half and shattering a television screen in rage. “I just broke down, yo, in one of the rare moments I did cry.”

Watch the full, exclusive video below: READ FULL STORY

Adele sings 'Natural Woman' beautifully on 'VH1 Unplugged' -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

If British chanteuse Adele had been included in Sunday’s Grammys-opening tribute to Aretha Franklin (and honestly, why wasn’t she?), it’s worth considering: What ‘Retha song should/would/could she have contributed?

Well, any and all of course — there’s little this lady can’t do. But based on her explosive, emotive rendition of “Natural Woman” in this exclusive clip from an upcoming episode of VH1′s Unplugged, we here at EW would vote resoundingly for Carole King’s woman-empowered classic that Aretha popularized in 1967. As you might imagine, the rebooted Unplugged atmosphere is just perfect for Adele’s fiery singer-songwriter sensibility. Plus, it showcases the fact that this gal can sing. She don’t need no backup. No synthesizers. And no dancers. It’s all about her.

VH1 Unplugged: Adele premieres online Thursday, March 3, at 7 p.m. at Unplugged.VH1.com and will air on VH1 Friday, March 4, at 11 p.m. The online premiere on March 3 will be accompanied by a live viewing party where fans can watch and chat with one another. Watch the beautiful clip of Adele singing “Natural Woman” here:

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T.I. performs 'What You Know' on his VH1 Storytellers: Check out the EW exclusive here

On the heels of T.I.‘s No Mercy release, VH1 will air their latest edition of Storytellers–featuring the Atlanta rap star this Friday (Dec. 10) at 11 pm. Recorded months ago when Mercy was still entitled King Uncaged and T.I. was still a free man, the show mostly focuses on the stories behind his biggest hits as well as old cuts he’s hardly performed, rather than even a few songs from his new offering. In this EW exclusive clip, he explains what inspired his chart-topping 2006 single “What You Know.”  It was recorded while he was filming ATL,  his first movie and, well, I’ll let him explain it himself. Check out the clip after the jump.

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Katy Perry, Sugarland, Nicki Minaj announced for special 'Vh1 Divas' tribute to the military

vh1-divasVh1′s long-running annual Divas event will take a new tack in its thirteenth year: honoring the military, rather than themselves, through spangled lady-song.

Featured performers Katy Perry, Nicki Minaj, Sugarland, and Keri Hilson are scheduled to tape the event before troops at San Diego’s Marine Corps Air Station Miramar while Paramore satellite in from a military base in the Middle East.

For two participants it’s a family cause: Hilson’s father served in the Army, and Sugarland’s Jennifer Nettles’ brother is currently in the Air Force.

Nettles had already made a joking threat to don a historic talisman of diva/military relations for the show: She told press that she’s “hoping to wear” Cher’s butt-floss body stocking in 1989′s battleship-set video for “If I Could Turn Back Time,” which the now-64-year-old Divas alum famously revisited last month at the VMAs.

Vh1 Divas Salute the Troops premieres December 5 and will also be broadcast internationally on the Armed Forces Network.

Follow The Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

More on the Music Mix:
Lil Wayne sends fans a letter from solitary
Taylor Swift, vinyl lover: She tells EW why she’s releasing ‘Speak Now’ as an LP
Justin Bieber tells Patriot Tom Brady to get a haircut in new rap freestyle: Watch here
T.I. talks down suicidal jumper
La Roux feat. Kanye West, ‘In for the Kill’: An EW exclusive stream
Taylor Swift apologizes (to Taylor Lautner?) in ‘Back to December

Jennifer Hudson breaks long silence, discusses family's murder on Vh1's 'Behind the Music': 'It was surreal'

Jennifer-HudsonImage Credit: Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage.comIn 2004, the onetime Disney cruise-line employee from Chicago’s Southside sang her way to seventh place on American Idol; less than three years later, she was an Oscar winning, Hollywood-sweeping Dreamgirl. Then, in October of 2008, her mother, brother, and young nephew were brutally murdered by her sister’s estranged husband, and she retreated entirely from the public eye until February 2009, when she emerged to perform a soaring rendition of the “Star Spangled Banner” at Super Bowl XLII.

Through it all, the 28-year-old singer, actress, and mother of 10-month-old David Daniel Otunga Jr. has been understandably reticent to discuss her personal tragedy in the press, but on last night’s Behind the Music: Jennifer Hudson, she addressed it frankly: “It’s all a blur, it was surreal,” she says of the immediate aftermath of the killings. “It was like I was outside of myself … For almost two weeks straight . . . [I was] inside one room with just family and friends coming in and out. I prayed when I’d get up in the morning and prayed before I laid down at night.”

Of the 2009 Grammys, at which she sang the emotional ballad “You Pulled Me Through” nearly a cappella, she says now, “I was definitely thinking of my family when I was singing that song. I could hear my [late] brother in my head, like, ‘Jennifer, you need to kill this, you need to get up and do it.’ I knew he would be disappointed if I didn’t do it justice.”

The birth of her son, she says, helped with her grieving: He “makes me feel like the most special person on earth. I want him to get the same love and the same upbringing my mother gave us.”

Today,” she says, “I feel like I’ve lived about three or four different lives.” She shares happier memories too, of growing up with a loving single mom and a grandmother who encouraged her to join her church’s gospel choir; she laughingly recalls singing in drag clubs and at weddings before finally making the cut at Idol‘s Atlanta auditions. If you missed the show, several clips (as well as various bonus materials) are available at Vh1.

Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

More from EW.com’s Music Mix:
Lauryn Hill explains why she put her career on hold — and why she might be coming back — in rare NPR interview
Marina and the Diamonds’ new “Oh No” video
Maxwell and Jill Scott double the loving at New York’s Madison Square Garden
Never-released Lady Gaga song, “You and I”: Listen here
Matt Smith performs “Doctor Who” theme tune at Glastonbury

'The Office' comic Craig Robinson's 4 favorite dirty South jams

Craig-RobinsonImage Credit: Kevin Mazur/WireImage.comComedian Craig Robinson knows a thing or two about the Southern hip-hop scene. So much so that VH1 asked NBC’s The Office actor to host VH1 Hip Hop Honors: The Dirty South tonight (June 7). Craig called in to tell us what Southern rap cuts got him ready for his big gig and why he loves them. Find out how Ludacris and Andre 3000 made the list after the jump.

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The Script: Watch the Irish rockers performing 'Breakeven,' from their forthcoming 'Unplugged' show

Irish rockers The Script are appearing on VH1′s Unplugged show on May 7. Can’t wait that long? Fret not, for you can see the trio performing a voltage-free version of their hit “Breakeven (Falling to Pieces),” after the jump.

As the original version is not exactly a supercharged slice of death metal, this new reworking doesn’t come as that much of a, well, shock. But take a look and tell us what you think. Also, do you agree with me that, when it comes time to make that Chris Isaak biopic, singer Danny O’Donoghue should be at least on the shortlist to play the Quiffed One for physical, if not necessarily vocal, reasons?

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Adam Lambert 'Unplugged': Watch his stripped-down VH1 performances here

What happens to Adam Lambert when you take away the pyrotechnics, the glossy production — in short, everything that makes him the over-the-top phenomenon his fans love? That’s the idea behind the latest episode of VH1′s Unplugged. You can watch a few of the American Idol alum’s acoustic performances at VH1′s site, or right here in this post. So how did he do?

Very well, actually! I’ve never been the hugest fan of Lambert’s music, but even I have to admit that the stripped-down, low-key approach really works for him. It’s hard to fake an unplugged performance. You can’t just scream as a shortcut to emotion, the way Lambert sometimes has in the past, and you obviously can’t rely on studio polish to help you hit those notes. So I’ll give credit where credit is due: There’s a subtle, natural quality to Lambert’s singing here that impresses me. Watching these clips hasn’t made me any more likely to revisit For Your Entertainment, but it has made me respect him a lot more as a vocalist. (Yes, Lambert fans, now is your cue to tell me in the comments section that I’ve been underestimating him all along.)

Watch Lambert’s unplugged “Whataya Want From Me” below, and his unplugged “Mad World” after the jump. Then let us know what you think of his acoustic turn.

“Whataya Want From Me”

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Vh1's 'Soul Train' documentary: don't miss it

I am not usually one to shill for Vh1 programming on this blog, unless it’s for the music Tom Sizemore hears in his head on Celebrity Rehab, but the channel’s Soul Train: The Hippest Trip in America, which airs Saturday night at 9:30pm ET/PT, should not be missed.

Terrence Howard narrates the documentary, Roots drummer Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson scores it, and countless icons spanning the show’s 40-year run, including Aretha Franklin, Chaka Khan, Sly Stone, Smokey Robinson and Snoop Dogg, appear as talking heads.

But the real star of Hippest Trip is the show itself: Archival clips from its early beginnings as a local program in Chicago in 1970 and on through its move—both geographical and cultural—to Los Angeles, where its social impact reached far beyond hair styles and hot-minute singles.

Soul Train‘s producer and host, Don Cornelius, is still the man with the best baritone this side of James Earl Jones (and his snazzy outfits leave Darth Jones in the dust). The guests, from Ike & Tina to Public Enemy, are amazing—not to mention some of the first musicians to appear live on TV in a time when lip-synching was considered de rigueur. And the dancers, future stars Rosie Perez and Jody Watley among them, are insanely fun to watch. If you can toot your caboose half as well this crew on the infamous Soul Train Line, while looking one-tenth as fashion bananas, you are a champion.

Or, you could just make love to a red rose, rock the bejesus out of a pair of yellow poly pants and a brown silk arm sling, and be Al Green:

Seriously, tune in tomorrow night. If you have ever loved R&B, soul, hip hop, music, television, or joy, it is worth your time.

More from EW.com’s Music Mix:
Ke$ha did not vandalize the Hollywood Sign, officials confirm. Come on.
Frances Bean Cobain to make recording debut
Kelly Clarkson responds to Taylor Swift’s record-label defense: ‘Take a lesson’
U.K. twin sensation Jedward cover “Under Pressure”: The crazy video — with Vanilla Ice cameo! — you didn’t know you needed
Fall Out Boy: Done for good?
Lady Antebellum tops the albums chart

Leona Lewis: A Music Mix Q&A

Three years ago, Leona Lewis won Simon Cowell’s The X Factor, Britain’s version of American Idol. She wasted no time delivering on that promise—less than a year later, “Bleeding Love” became a transatlantic number-one smash and one of the most ubiquitous songs of the year. She sat down with EW to talk about singing with Cyndi Lauper at Thursday’s VH1 Divas concert, her new single “Happy,” and the cuddly side of Simon Cowell.

Entertainment Weekly: The VH1 Divas thing was last night, how did that go?

Leona Lewis: It was good, it went really well. I did a duet with Cyndi Lauper, which was really cool, we sang “True Colors” and then I performed my single “Happy,” so I had a good time.

EW: Which Lauper do you prefer—the wild new-wave songs or the more ballad-y stuff?

LL: I like her ballads, of course, “Time After Time” just like everyone likes, and “True Colors,” it’s so outstanding. She was telling me about what she wrote it about: It was when her friend died and they didn’t know what he had died of, and it was just a really emotional time for her and you can really hear that in the song. For me that’s what it’s about—it’s about conveying that real, raw emotion and you really hear that in her songs and through her voice.

EW: How does it feel to be performing with people you look up to? Do they feel like peers to you or does part of you still think, “God, these people are so famous”?

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